What is a Ground Loop used for on electric gate openers and how does it work its magic?
A ground loop is a fantastic addition to your standard electric gate kit and is the perfect way to achieve keyless entry or exit from your home, office or community gates.
Using induction cable, laid in a figure of 8 formation beneath the driveway surface, the cable detects the presence of vehicles above it magnetically and sends a signal to the control panel, via a ground loop detector to open the electric gates.
You will have noticed small tar lines in the road at traffic lights before, these are concealing the same technology that alerts the traffic light sensors that there is a vehicle waiting at the line!
The installation process and connecting to your gate opener control board
The first task is to lay the induction cable. If you have not already surfaced your driveway then this is a perfect time to do this job as your finished driveway surface can be laid on top of the loop which is altogether a more convenient way to go about things.
If your drive is already laid then it’s still perfectly possible, but you will need to cut in grooves to lay the cable through and then carry out the required repairs afterwards. Some drive types are easy than others to fix afterwards but a decent builder or competent DIY’er will be more than capable of getting a neat finish even if you have had to cut in the original surface.
The cable is placed in a figure of 8 pattern just beyond where the gates open, as seen in the diagram below. If you have a sliding gate then the loop can be as close as you like to the opening gap, just as long as you can get a car over it. If you have swing gates though, make sure that the loop is placed outside of the opening arch of the gates!
If you are lucky enough to have a long driveway, the loop can be placed further up the drive so that the gates are fully open by the time you reach them meaning there’s no waiting about!
The process of connecting your ground loop cable through the loop detector and then in to your electric gates control panel is pretty straight forward (though we would always recommend getting a qualified gate engineer to carry out this task!). The loop detector is directly wired (in most cases) in to the electric gate openers main control panel and performs a simple switching function on detection of vehicle presence on the ground loop.
What are the security implications for electric gate openers with ground loops?
Electric gate openers can be operated by numerous methods for both entry and exit, however, most commonly, ground loops are only used for exit purposes.
Because your electric gates will open whenever a car or lorry is detected, this diminishes security if it is being used as an entry method and will let anyone and everyone in!!
What is the equipment required to set up a ground loop?
To add a ground loop to your electric gate opener kit, you will need the following:
• 1 Channel loop detector
• Loop Induction Cable
If you have any questions or just want some advice for what’s going to work best on your electric gate opener, then please just give us a call. Our expert team have been fitting electric gate kits, safety devices and all accessories for decades.